Supported by Stephen Fry, Margaret Hodge and Charlie Higson, independent booksellers Frances and Keith Smith delivered a petition calling on David Cameron to take "decisive action [to] make Amazon pay its fair share of UK corporation tax" to Downing Street on 24 April.
Over 150,000 people have joined the Smiths’ campaign, which they launched last December, saying that "we pay our taxes and so should [Amazon] – please take a stand with us and tell Amazon to pay their fair share".
A short video of Canadian portrait photographer Christopher Wahl. Worth watching.
Margaret Sullivan, on a New York Times Public Editor’s Journal, explores the non-system behind selecting books for review:
I often hear from Times readers who are puzzled, and sometimes annoyed, that a single book is getting so much attention when other worthy books get no notice at all. It can seem odd, especially when two reviews appear within days of each other.
I talked to Scott Heller, theater and books editor, about the frequent duplication and the amount of attention sometimes heaped on one author. He explained that The Times’s three staff book critics — Michiko Kakutani, Janet Maslin and Dwight Garner — make their own decisions about what to review. They do so without regard to, or knowledge of, what the editors of the Sunday Book Review, a separate entity, may have assigned or have planned. The Book Review has its own editor and staff.
It is worth reading the comments, which are almost universally critical of the systemless system described. What do you think?
A good summary of the panel discussion follows this introduction.
Capitalizing on trends, having big-picture visions, and making project pitches stand out while also appealing to niche audiences were some of the topics addressed during an April 16 American Book Producers Association panel called “Straight Talk on Juvenile Publishing.” The panel featured three speakers: Wesley Adams, executive editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers; Sarah Fabiny, editor-in-chief for series and licenses at Grosset & Dunlap and PSS, in the Penguin Young Readers Group; and Beverly Horowitz, v-p and publisher at Random House/Delacorte. ABPA treasurer Valerie Tomaselli served as moderator.
Red House seeks talented young writers for 2013 Yearbook!
Do you know a budding writer, poet, or journalist? If so, the Red House Young Writer’s Yearbook needs YOU…
They want aspiring young writers from around the country to enter the 2013 Red House Young Writers’ Yearbook competition and win the chance to see their stories or poems published in a stunningly produced and designed book.
To enter the competition, children should be aged between 7 and 17. They can submit a story, poem or article and it’s up to the individual what subject they choose to write about. This year the competition entries will be divided into four age categories: 7+, 9+, 11+ and 13+. The deadline is 31st July 2013.
As well as becoming a published author, the winners will also earn the opportunity to attend a Red House Young Writers’ Workshop, with a high-profile children’s author, held – for the first time ever- as part of the celebrated Imagine Children’s Festival at London’s Southbank Centre. The workshop will provide participants with a unique, fun and stimulating opportunity to help them hone their skills and provide lots of feedback to encourage and inspire!
Matt Whyman, author of Gold Strike and The Savages says:
The Red House Young Writer’s Yearbook aims to showcase young talent in the raw. It provides a platform for new writers as they get to grips with their craft, and offers a huge boost to their confidence in seeing their work in print for the very first time. Now with a series of workshops for the contributors, to be held at the Imagine Children’s Festival, it’s time to put your stories and poems into words and just see where it takes you.
Former Dillon’s branch in Leicester to be closed by Waterstones
One of the two Waterstones shops in Leicester is to close with nine people under the threat of redundancy.
The Waterstones in Market Street, Leicester, will cease trading on 1st June, the company’s spokesman Jon Howells has confirmed.
Since Waterstones’ new management came in 2011, several stores have closed in towns or cities where there have been two Waterstones in close proximity to one another.
New Macmillan appointment:
Macmillan Children’s Books has appointed Stephanie Barton to the new position of pre-school publishing director, with Barton to join the company on 1st May.
Since 2010, Barton founded and ran Barton-Welby, an independent consultancy business specialising in children’s publishing and media. Barton was previously managing director of Penguin Children’s Books, and has also held further senior positions at DK and Penguin where she was responsible for the publishing and IP brand-management for Penguin Children’s imprints.
Ben Fountain’s satire "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk" was named the winner of the L.A. Times 2012 book prize for fiction on Friday night at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Katherine Boo’s "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity" took the prize in the current interest category.
The complete list of winners:
–Biography: Robert Caro, "The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson" (Knopf)
–Current Interest: Katherine Boo, "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity" (Random House)
–Fiction: Ben Fountain, "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk" (HarperCollins Publishers / Ecco)
–The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction: Maggie Shipstead, "Seating Arrangements" (Knopf)
–Graphic Novel/Comics: Sammy Harkham, "Everything Together: Collected Stories" (PictureBox)
–History: Fergus M. Bordewich, "America’s Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union" (Simon & Schuster)
–Mystery/Thriller: Tana French, "Broken Harbor" (Viking)
–Poetry: Louise Glück, "Poems 1962-2012" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
–Science & Technology: Florence Williams, "Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History" (W.W. Norton & Company)
–Young Adult Literature: A.S. King, "Ask the Passengers" (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
–Innovator’s Award: Margaret Atwood
–Robert Kirsch Award: Kevin Starr
Tim Waterstone thinks serialisation could be a “big win”:
Three months ago [Tim Waterstone] was approached by Neill Denny, the former editor of trade magazine The Bookseller, who was developing a new business venture called Read Petite – a subscription streaming service for short stories and serialised books for e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle.
‘I find the idea of a return to serialisation riveting,’ he says. ‘It could be a real big win. Get the first chapter out and get readers interested. Look what it was like in the 19th Century – Dickens was selling 100,000 copies through serial releases of his books.
‘There is also an opportunity for the release of non-fiction. It’s difficult for journalists to get works over 5,000 words published these days – something I could read if I’m on a plane journey to Barcelona, something I could read in one sitting, to wildly misquote Edgar Allan Poe.’
Due to launch in the autumn, Waterstone says the company will accept only published authors on to its electronic service. He believes this will stop the system becoming ‘cluttered with slush’.
Very comprehensive blog post from Sarah McIntyre… Highly recommended
We KNOW our publishers can’t do everything, that readers look to authors themselves to be inspired to buy their books, that publishers have limited budgets, and that it makes business sense not to devote quite as much of their time to a book that’s selling millions of copies versus a book that sells hundreds.
At the same time, we’re expected to be writers, artists, bloggers, e-mailers, stage performers and educators. (I itemised the jobs from my blog post, The McIntyre Way™, and added two more jobs: accountant and housewife. Possibly lobbyists, too.) I estimated that I can easily spend 70% of my time doing publicity work when, really, I’d rather spend 70% of my time writing and drawing. So what CAN our publishers do to help us so we actually have time to write and illustrate?